Just waiting for the penguins
“So how do you like your snowblower now?” asked a friend after last week’s blizzards. Of course, I had changed my mind.
The snowblower arrived in our yard about 18 months ao, in preparation for winter 2016, which we were afraid – very afraid – would be of similar proportions to the winter of 2015. We made room for it in the shed, got a gas jug and filled it up and organized an extension cord near the back door so we could use the electronic start. As you know, there weren’t more than three opportunities to use it in the winter of 2016.
Last fall, there were dire predictions of heavy snow for this winter. There’s a reason why we season such predictions with a grain of salt; we feel there isn’t much reason to have faith in them. Oh, we had some fairly early snow in December but then the weather warmed up again. I’ve lost track of how many times this happened so far but what it has meant, in snow removal terms, was that we’ve used a broom to deal with most of it and scraped the driveway with the shovel. The one time when I had to dig a path to the shed to get the snowblower out, it seemed like a lot of work for not much result.
So when my friend asked me in January how I liked the snowblower, I was full of complaints.
I remember, as a child, learning to read. I was so delighted. It meant, since I could read directions, I could do anything! This is good because my memory is only as good as the paper it’s written on. As the snowblower hadn’t been used for many months, the first necessity was to find the manual.
Thank goodness the monster squatted in readiness in the shed, already gassed and oiled up. All I had to do was clear a path to the shed and uncoil the extension cord. What I didn’t realize was that I also had to wrestle the thing outside into the light so I could see where and how to attach the extension cord. The next step in the process (there seem to be about a dozen steps) is to slide the choke lever, followed by some things I don’t fully understand and finally shove the primer button a few times, press the starter and brace for the racket.
After all that, it seemed that snowblowing the driveway was all but a wasted effort. I still had to scrape over it with a shovel because the machine leaves an inch or two of snow on the ground, just enough to turn into ice after a sunny day.
However, let me just say, friend, after the first three-foot drift that decided to curl up in the driveway, and the four-by-four-foot wall the snow plow deposited just after I finished clearing the first – not to mention the giant blocking the way to the oil tank, I adore the snowblower!